March 8, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Bernard Lagat, a Washington State University junior from Kapsabet, Kenya, was named the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year by a vote of the United States Track Coaches Association members.
Lagat won both the men's mile and the 3,000m race last Saturday at the NCAA Div. I Indoor Track and Field Championships at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. He was the only double winner at the national meet and the first to claim that combination double (mile/3k) since Joe Falcon of Arkansas in 1988.
Lagat's mile time of three minutes, 55.65 seconds is a lifetime best for him and a new WSU indoor mile record. After a brief 90 minute rest, Lagat returned to the oval and clocked a 7:54.92 personal-best time to win the 3,000m race. He scored 20 of WSU's 21 points which placed the Cougar men 10th in the final team standings.
Lagat was also the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Male Athlete of the Year for the past two indoor seasons. At the 1999 MPSF Championships last month in Reno, Lagat won the men's 800m, mile and 3000m races.
Cougar head coach Rick Sloan was named the 1999 USTCA Region VIII Coach of the Year for women's track and field. He earned this same honor in 1998 for his work in the outdoor season with the WSU men's team. Sloan is also a two-time winner of the MPSF men's and women's Coach of the Year award. Sloan is in his 26th season overall as a coach at WSU; fifth year as a head coach, fourth year as director of the combined men's and women's program.